Serving All Your Real Estate Needs In Angel Fire, Red River & Taos, New Mexico; Land, Ranches & Unique Homes

The Open-House Questions You Need To Ask

You might like what you see at an open house, but don't make a decision until you've asked some probing questions. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of an open house. It's staged beautifully, it smells great, and there's a friendly agent pointing out the charming details and thoughtful upgrades. It's important to look at a home with a critical eye. From requesting a sellers' disclosure form (if they're not readily available) to asking pointed questions about each space, you can leave any open house with a pretty good idea of whether you'll want to make an offer or keep moving.

The kitchen

It's usually fairly obvious whether the kitchen was recently renovated. It doesn't hurt to inquire when the kitchen was last renovated and specifically ask, "How old are the appliances, and are all of them functional?" Refrigerators last, on average, 11 years; gas ranges, 16 years; electric ranges, 14 years; range hoods, 14 years; ovens, 14 years; and dishwashers, nine years.

The living room

Take in all you see, then look down if you're walking into a carpeted home, be sure to inquire about what is underneath the carpets "If you're able to pull back a portion and actually take a look, do so. The last thing you want to find out, post-closing, is that you're dealing with subflooring that has major issues."

The bedrooms

Not all master bedrooms are created equal. Ask what the dimensions are, make sure your furniture will fit. This is also important information to know about the secondary bedrooms, especially if you have a particular setup to accommodate. Measure the rooms don't rely on the measurements on the listing sheet.

The bathrooms

Do more than just look at the bathrooms. Lots of problems could be happening here, and you should find out if any are. Ask about knocking pipes during a shower, which could lead to a leak or a pipe coming free from its mountings. Low water pressure, dripping sinks, poor drainage, and not enough hot water are other problems you should know about. Do not be afraid to turn on the faucets, checking to see that water pressure is adequate and that the hot water is working.

The roof

A new roof is expensive. So get some information. Ask the roof's age and what kind of roof it is. In general, asphalt shingles last 15 to 20 years; metal roofs last 20 to 40 years; wood shingle and shake roofs last 20 to 30 years; and tile and slate roofs last 50 or more years.

The add-on

Many sellers can't wait to tell you about their new addition especially if they're charging more for this bonus room. But you need to know more. Is it a legal addition? You'll want to know the answer before you put an offer on the table.

The yard

Regarding the yard, find out where the property line begins and ends. You'll want to know just how much land you're buying. If you've fallen in love with a children's play set, make sure to ask if it stays with the home. suggests that home buyers get a document stating what's being communicated. "If the seller's agent states it's legal to have your mother-in-law in the tiny house in the back, get it in writing." Home buyers should get a document stating what's being communicated. You should also inquire about any homeowner's association regulations regarding fencing or a pool. And if there is a pool or hot tub, inquire about its condition.

General house questions

After going room by room, look at the whole house, paying attention to items that will be expensive to replace, such as appliances, the electrical, heating, and air-conditioning systems, plumbing, and water heaters. Find out if any of the home's appliances and systems are covered by a home warranty. Also ask how often the home's appliances and systems have been serviced. Ask for the last two years of maintenance records and utility costs. This will give insight into past maintenance and an estimate of utility charges for the home.

If you have a nagging feeling you still missed something, never fear. Ask a question that covers it all. "Is there anything else I should know about the house?" That way, you let the agent do the talking without having to know what to ask about.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Angel Fire or Taos, look to New Mexico Mountain Properties for all of your Real Estate needs. Our warm and inviting staff will help you get exactly what you are looking for, like our majestic mountain homes for sale in Angel Fire will give you the mountain setting you may want while our unique Taos homes for sale will let you get in touch with your creative side. Our Taos Ski Valley and Angel Fire condos for sale will put you right next to all the winter activities. If you're looking to build your own home, then our Angel Fire and Taos land for sale will give you the freedom to create your own dream home. If you are seeking to live totally off the grid, then look to our Taos Earthships for sale. Whatever you're looking for we can help you find it. Give us a call at 575-377-2626 in Angel Fire, 575-758-5852 in Taos or 575-770-3306 to speak directly to an agent. We are here to serve and welcome you to our spectacular area.

Information obtained from Trulia

Predicting the 'Right Time' to Buy or Sell a Home

Buying or selling a home at the 'right time' is tougher than it sounds. People usually take these actions because of a life event or financial issues. The economy and real estate forecasts tend to be secondary considerations. Yet both buyers and sellers often pose the question, "When is the best time to buy or sell?"

If you have the luxury of choosing when you enter the real estate market, here are some points to consider when timing a home purchase or sale.

Every market is different

There's no longer one national real estate market or forecast like there was 20 years ago. And just because the 24×7 national news outlets tell stories of hot real estate markets with multiple offers and quickly rising prices doesn't mean that's happening in your neighborhood. In fact, real estate activity can vary widely within the same county. One town can see record-breaking activity, while another 10 miles away has a glut of inventory. If you want to purchase or sell, dig deeper, look around and get as much local information as possible. Stay informed about shifts in the market.

Interest rates fluctuate

Most people need a mortgage to purchase a home, and long-term interest rates are a major factor. For many years, we've been living with historically low mortgage rates. But while we might be living in a time of three- or four-percent rates today, remember that in the 1980s rates were 12 percent or higher.

It's not uncommon for buyers to get off the sidelines and into the real estate market when they hear news of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. It's very likely that when rates do start to creep back up again (and they eventually will), would-be buyers will turn into active customers.

Seasons change

Traditionally, spring has been the big real estate selling season. Flowers bloom, the grass is green, pools are open and homes show in their best possible light While the spring is still a strong selling season, today's buyers are looking online and searching on their phones every day, no matter the season, and transactions happen from New Year's Day to Christmas Eve.

If you have a home to sell and aren't in a rush, consider doing so at a traditionally "off" time. There will be fewer homes for sale, which means less competition. If it's priced right and shows well, it will sell anytime.

Money isn't everything

If a real estate purchase were purely financial, then we would see every renter who has money saved up and a solid job getting in the market. But there are practical and emotional considerations. I've worked with buyers for months, sometimes years. They were always qualified to purchase, but never pulled the trigger.

Why were they gun shy? Because it doesn't make sense to put down 20 percent and take on a mortgage if their job with an hour commute isn't steady, their marriage is on the rocks, or their aging parents live across the country.

Renting and keeping with the status quo is totally acceptable if there is any uncertainty in your future. While these buyers are free to shop and learn the market, they may not make a move.

Since the financial crisis, many buyers have been hesitant to get back into the real estate market. And for good reason: some of those buyers probably were never qualified to be in the market.

But in many parts of the country, we've seen a comeback. Some markets are better than others. If you think home buying is in your future, do your research. Take your time, get your ducks in a row and start to feel the market.

Just know that nobody can predict when the right house will come along, and you can't time a real estate market.

Whether you are looking to buy a home in Taos or Angel Fire or sell your Angel Fire or Taos home call on Paula. We have two offices to serve you. In Angel Fire call (575) 377-2626 or in Taos call (575) 758-5852. There are many homes to choose from. We are members of the Taos Multiple Listing Service, so if you don't find the Taos property or property in Angel Fire that you are looking for on our site, you can access listings throughout The Enchanted Circle via the Taos MLS to view all Taos Real Estate and Angel Fire Real Estate listings. To speak directly to a broker call Paula at 575-770-3306. We are dedicated to making your dream a reality.

Obtained from Zillow Porchlight

Ragnar Relay Endurance Event

Who: Ragnar Relay -

When: August 19-20, 2016 (set up will take place the week preceding the event) Race begins 10am on Friday the 19th and concludes 4pm Saturday the 20th. Runners will be racing through the night. All guests will have departed by Sunday afternoon. Set up will begin earlier in the week up to the event date on the 19th.

What: A long-distance, overnight mega-relay race across the Moreno Valley. Groups of runners, families, and friends will be lodging, camping, dining, and celebrating here in Angel Fire! We can expect to see an estimated 1,400 guests over the weekend keeping our community busy. The race covers a lot of ground running though the green belt trails, crossing the highway, and heading up the Angel Fire Resort mountain to run back down to the finish line at a tally of 115 miles total. We can expect unusually high levels of activity around the base area as runners complete segments of the race through the night. Campers will fill lots leading from the Lodge down to Shuter Library, and all additional parking will be full. The high-elevation, adventure course spans 115 miles long, with each runner averaging 15 miles each. Over three different trails the relay racers will experience breathtaking views of the Moreno Valley, the Sangre de Cristo range and New Mexico's highest mountain, Wheeler Peak. An illustration map can be found here: The race takes an average of 22 hours to complete. Teams will begin in staggered start times between 10 am and 7 pm on Friday, August 19th and will continue throughout the night, finishing on Saturday, August 20th. About Ragnar Based in Utah, Ragnar is the largest overnight running relay series in the United States. Traversing inspiring and scenic destinations around the country, these events make testing your limits a team sport. In the Ragnar Relay Series, teams of 12 run a 200-mile relay over two days and one night; in Ragnar Trail Relays, teams of 8 run a 120-mile trail relay over the same time span. The more than 100,000 runners that participate each year embrace their inner wild to conquer what they thought impossible; sacrifice sleep for unforgettable moments and cross the finish line to receive our glorious finisher medals (Relay / Trail) and coveted Double Medals.

What to Expect: The race is expected to bring in over 1400 guests who will be camping, staying in Lodges condominiums, the RV Resort, and private rental homes throughout the Angel Fire region. Promoters indicated friends, family, and support crews are expected to eat at local restaurants, shop and participate in local activities while here in Angel Fire.

The Ragnar Village: Participants in the Ragnar Relay are coming from all points across the US, with a concentration joining us from: New Mexico Arizona Colorado Texas Utah Nevada Where to Watch: Ragnar Village will be in the Green Lot on Aspen Street near the Angel Fire Lodge. This is where all loops start and finish so is the area of most activity. There will be numerous vendors and sponsors with food, drink and product demos. There is no charge to come and observe the race so come on down and check it out.

When looking for the best in Real Estate, choose New Mexico Mountain Properties and let us help you find your dream home. With amazing homes for sale in Angel Fire and Taos you are sure to find that perfect home . Maybe land for sale in Taos and Angel Fire might be what you are looking for to build your dream, or live off the land in our stunning Earthship homes for sale in Taos. How about a scenic condo for sale in Angel Fire that puts you close to the slopes? Whatever your fancy, we are here to assist. Call us at 575-377-2626 in Angel Fire 575-758-5852 in Taos or speak directly to an broker at 575-770-3306 we are here to serve and welcome you to our growing community.

Dinner, Dance, and Auction In Angel Fire New Mexico

August 13, 2016 7pm-10pm

$25 for Adults $15 for Kids 6 and under are Free

The event is held at the Angel Fire Community Center, 15 CS Ranch Road.

Holy Angels Catholic church presents the 8th Annual Oldies Rock and Roll dinner, dance and auction.

Cash Beer and Wine Bar Dance to Live Music provided by Taos own Time Machine Band. Full dinner plus both a live and silent auction.

If you show up in oldies style costumes and clothes, you will receive a free raffle ticket.

You can purchase tickets at Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce and the Angel Fire Visitors Center.

You can also call Larry Layden at 575-377-2743

While visiting Angel Fire, stop by and visit with New Mexico Mountain Properties we have two locations in both Angel Fire Taos, NM and our dedicated staff we will do everything we can to find you that perfect home you are looking for. Our Angel Fire homes for sale offer stunning views of Moreno Valley combined with the land for sale in Angel Fire you get the best of both worlds. While our homes for sale in Taos give you glorious views of the mountains and the Taos land for sale lets you escape from the everyday. If your looking for smaller living we have our condos for sale in Angel Fire and Taos. We can help you find whatever Taos or Angel Fire real estate you are looking for and we are here to serve and welcome your to our scenic area.

Can I qualify for a house if my partners credit is bad?

If you have great credit, you may be able to buy a house, but that doesn't mean it's the best idea.

Picture this: You're a financial rock star. You pay all your bills on time and you work hard to earn more -- so you can save more. Your credit score reflects your savvy money-management skills, and you can proudly boast that you're a member of the 730-and-up credit score club. Your partner? Not so much. Whether due to past actions or financial mistakes they're currently working to correct, your love's credit score is not something to write home about. What's a committed couple to do?

Understand why your partner's credit score is low

Before you try to persuade a lender to approve you for a loan, ask why your partner's credit score is less than stellar. If you can chalk a bad credit score up to a mountain of consumer debt, you both might need to take a step back. Buying a home isn't a requirement -- it's an important decision -- and trying to force the situation while one of you faces tough financial straits might not be the best idea.

If your partner has "bad" credit due to long-past transgressions, you could both benefit by taking action to improve their score before applying for a home loan. If you decide to put your home purchase on the back burner, work with your partner to improve their credit by developing a debt repayment plan. Start with these tips to boost a credit score (and score a better interest rate on that mortgage):

Check credit reports, look for mistakes, and correct errors if necessary.Make all future payments on time and in full. Keep your credit utilization ratio low (which means don't run up a balance of $499 on a card with a $500 credit limit, even if you pay off that balance in full every month!). Leave old accounts open but don't use them. Make the mortgage your own

Ready to buy a house now? It may make more sense to apply for a loan on your own instead of going in jointly with your partner. Keep in mind that lenders look at your entire financial picture to determine whether you qualify. That means your own income, assets, and creditworthiness need to meet the lender's requirements without any help from other sources.

Before running down this road, ensure that the monthly payments and other costs associated with home ownership are ones you can shoulder on your income alone. While no one wants to think about worst-case scenarios, it's your name on the dotted line -- and you're the one responsible for paying the mortgage if the two of you ever split up.

Plead your case

Although mortgage lenders may seem like faceless entities incapable of deviating from their set processes, there is room for you to explain your situation and provide all the facts. If you can show your partner's bad credit stems from factors that will not impact your reasonable ability to repay the home loan, the lender may approve a joint application despite a low score on one end. Ask if you can write a letter of explanation for a low credit score. If the lender says they will consider your explanation, provide as much documentation to back up your reasons as possible. Consider including explanations and documents to show how, together, you and your love can reasonably make your monthly payments on your potential loan.

Consider a co-signer

If none of the above solutions works for your situation, you can consider asking someone to co-sign the home loan with you. Another person with a good credit score, sufficient income, and a low debt-to-income ratio could help you qualify for the mortgage you want. But don't consider this option lightly. That co-signer will be financially responsible for the loan if you default -- and even if you have no intention of defaulting on a loan, unexpected emergencies or hardships can arise. To put it simply, co-signing can come with a lot of baggage. If co-signing makes sense for you, it's an option -- though you might want to pursue other options first.

Love is blind, but mortgage lenders may not be so forgiving (or, well, blind to the realities of your financial situation). If you can find a workable solution, take action and make your homeowning dreams a reality. And if you both need to take some time to repair that bad credit score? Do that, and rest easier knowing your financial ducks will be in a row before you take on a mortgage.

When looking for the best in Real Estate, choose New Mexico Mountain Properties and let us help you find your dream home. With amazing homes for sale in Angel Fire and Taos, you are sure to find that perfect home . Maybe land for sale in Taos and Angel Fire might be what you are looking for to build your dream, or live off the land in our stunning Earthship homes for sale in Taos. How about a fabulous condo for sale in Angel Fire that puts you close to the slopes? Whatever your fancy, we are here to assist. Call us at 575-377-2626 in Angel Fire 575-758-5852 in Taos or speak directly to a broker at 575-770-3306 we are here to serve and welcome you to our growing community.

Here's Why Your Debt-to-Income Ratio Matters

Sure, it's math. But it can make or break your home loan application.

Home shoppers eager to qualify for a mortgage could get turned down because of a number they've never heard of: their debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

If you're a bit hazy on DTI, you're in good company. According to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group, more than half of consumers surveyed weren't sure what it is either.

And, in this case, what they don't know could hurt them -- financially, that is.

High DTI (not credit scores or how much borrowers had in the bank) was the top reason to reject a loan applicant, according to a 2014 FICO study of credit-risk managers covered by The Washington Post.

Understanding DTI Put simply, DTI is a calculation of your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income.

Lenders calculate DTI in two ways, and both are important. First, they'll add together all your expected housing expenses (your new mortgage, including taxes and insurance) and divide that by your gross (pre-tax) income. That's called your front-end DTI.

Second, they do the same calculation but include all of your monthly expenses, like minimum payments on credit cards and auto loans. That's called your back-end DTI.

For conventional mortgage loans (loans not insured by the government), mortgage lenders are generally looking for 28 percent or lower for the front-end DTI, and 36 percent or lower for the back-end.

"Some lenders may be a little stricter, and others less so," says Cara Pierce, who's worked as a housing financial specialist with Atlanta-based ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions for 19 years.

Why DTI matters Your DTI ratio is important, Pierce says, because it's what lenders use to determine how much money they will loan you.

If you're already using 10 percent or more of your gross income to pay your monthly living expenses, such as car payments and credit card minimum payments, you'd have less than 26 percent for your other housing expenses to stay under 36-percent DTI on the back end.

A DTI higher than 36 percent doesn't mean you won't qualify. In fact, Fannie Mae purchases loans from lenders with back-end DTI ratios as high as 45 percent. But you may want to re-evaluate how much you want to spend on a home -- or if it's even the right time to buy.

Can I lower my DTI? Lowering your DTI could help you get a lower interest rate "because less debt is generally viewed as a good thing," notes Investopedia.

So if you still want that more expensive home, there are two ways to lower your DTI.

First, pay down debt. Even paying a little over the minimum payment each month on accounts will help. "If you have a $100 a month payment and can't afford $200, just pay $125," advises Pierce. "That will make it faster for you to pay off the debt."

Alternatively, you could look for ways for you or your household to raise your income or consolidate your debt.

Either way, it's important to know how lenders calculate DTI, and how a high DTI ratio could affect your chances of being approved for a loan. "People don't understand DTI because it's a math equation," says Pierce, "but it's a number that lenders will use to approve or deny loan applications."

You can calculate your DTI manually or use an online calculator. Consumers can request a free copy of their credit report annually at or by calling 877-322-8228.

When looking for a home or property look no further than New Mexico Mountain Properties for all your Real Estate needs. With two locations in both Angel Fire and Taos, NM and our dedicated staff, we will do everything we can to find you that perfect place. Our Angel Fire homes for sale offer stunning views of Moreno Valley combined with the land for sale in Angel Fire you get the best of both worlds. While our homes for sale in Taos give you glorious views of the mountains and the Taos land for sale lets you escape from the everyday. If your looking for smaller living we have our condos for sale in Angel Fire and Taos. We can help you find whatever Taos or Angel Fire real estate you are looking for. So give us a call at 575-377-2626 in Angel Fire, 575-758-5852 in Taos or 575-770-3306 to speak directly to n agent. We are here to serve and welcome your to our scenic area.

Angel Fire's 4th of July

Make Angel Fire your family's home base for the 4th of July to bask in blue skies, starry nights, great food & endless family fun! Enjoy a July 4th celebration unlike any other – complete with a pancake breakfast, parade, and an incredible evening fireworks show. Angel Fire Resort offers a variety of lodging options to accommodate your family's preferences including hotel rooms in The Lodge, rental homes and condos throughout the area and a luxury RV Resort. But hurry, space is limited.

Independence Day is coming up quick, and there's no better place to celebrate freedom over the 4th of July weekend than the Enchanted Circle in the Southern Rocky Mountains. With average summer temperatures in the 70s, come escape the heat and enjoy our scenic beauty and abundant festivities this 4th of July.

Friday, July 1 | Music can take you down a path you've never traveled before. The Cool Summer Nights Concert Series is new this summer season and will offer a variety of musical genres that allow guests to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and the fun of live music close to the resort at Frontier Plaza. Bring a blanket or camping chairs and pack a picnic or enjoy food, wine and beer from the local food trucks. This is a free event and family friendly.

2nd ANNUAL SOUTH BOUNDARY TRAIL RIDE Friday, July 1 | Angel Fire Resort is hosting a shuttled group ride on the famous South Boundary Trail. The shuttle will depart in front of Angel Fire Resort's Lodge at 10 am where we'll shuttle you and your bike to the South Boundary trail head near Garcia Park and a local rider will show you the way. When arriving in Taos, riders must make their way to Eske's Brew Pub to meet the return shuttle after enjoying Happy Hour specials for the group. Pre-registration is required by calling Mountain Reservations at 844-359-6411.

THE MYSTO MYSTO SHOW Saturday, July 2 | Starting at 7:30 pm at the Garden Court in The Lodge, come enjoy the most fun you'll ever have at a magic show. Join us for this family friendly, award winning 90 minute show. Buy your tickets now for just $10 each in advance or $15 at the door.

TRASH TO TREASURES FLEA MARKET Saturday, July 2 & Sunday, July 3 | Largest annual fundraiser for the Shuter Library, this community-wide flea market is held on July 2-3 at the Community Center. All community donations of good quality, gently used items help make this event a fun and exciting way to support your local library.

Sunday, July 3 | This high altitude farmer's market will offer the best in fresh, locally-grown produce and products such as honey, soaps, and baked goods. Sunday mornings will be the ideal time to sip on a hot vanilla latte and check out paintings, pottery and jewelry from local New Mexican artisans at the new Art + Farmers' Market.

ANGEL FIRE ADVENTURE Sunday, July 3 | It's the perfect summer race-cation destination for the entire family! Offering distances for everyone including a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K Fun Race & Happy Feet Kids Run. Kids' Happy Feet Run starts at 10 am!

LIVE MUSIC ON THE DECK AT THE COUNTRY CLUB Sunday, July 3 | Music on the Deck will be showcasing one of Northern New Mexico's finest up and coming performers, Ry Taylor will play live from 5-8 pm. Sit on the patio and enjoy not only the great music with views but also craft beers, fine wines and spirits.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST Monday, July 4 | Enjoy pancakes outside with friends and family from 8-11 am at Olympic Park hosted by Angel Fire Rotary. To get there head south of Angel Fire on HWY 434, turn right at Country Club Dr and you will see the park on the right.

4th of JULY PARADE & CELEBRATION IN RED RIVER Monday, July 4 | Red River is hosting their annual 4th of July Parade & Celebration! The day begins at 10 am with the largest parade in northern New Mexico, followed by a full day of family-friendly activities all over town. After the parade stroll down to Brandenburg Park where you can enjoy live music and good old fashioned family fun, then head to the Red River Community House for its annual July 4th Egg Toss & Family Games.

Monday, July 4 | Annual parade and fireworks show in Eagle Nest Lake State Park. The Parade goes from 2-3 pm & the shops and restaurants will open on the main street and visitors will participate in the parade. Fireworks will begin at dusk at the northwest side of the park.


MONTE VERDE LAKE Gather the family and get in touch with nature at Angel Fire Resort's Monte Verde Lake for some family time fishing, standup paddle boarding or paddle boating. There are plenty of picnic tables & an easy walking path surrounding the entire lake that every age can enjoy.

DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING While in Angel Fire, you can enjoy the largest Bike Park in the Rocky Mountains! If you have never ridden a Bike Park or are a beginner to downhill riding, take our Ready to Ride introduction lesson for only $49. Riders will be introduced to elements of bike control through body positioning, braking and cornering at the base area on a gentle slope under the guidance of an instructor.

While you're enjoying your weekend here in Angel Fire, come by the log cabin at the blinking light and let New Mexico Mountain Properties be your first stop, for all your Taos and Angel Fire Real Estate needs. We offer condos for sale in Angel Fire and the Taos Ski Valley which will put you close to all the activities. The homes for sale in Taos and Angel Fire give you some of the best views around! We can help you find whatever Taos or Angel Fire real estate has to offer. Contact us in Angel Fire at 575-377+2626, Taos 575-758-5852, or call an agent directly at 575-770-3306.

Taking your time to comparison-shop can pay off big when it comes to your home loan

Trying to decipher all the different types of home mortgages can feel a little like attempting to solve a Rubik's Cube -- it's frustrating, time-consuming, and often head-scratching. But when you're buying a home, there's a lot at stake, so it's smart to shop around, compare interest rates, carefully consider all your options, do a loan comparison, and come to a conclusion about what's best for you -- and your budget.

Here is a rundown of all the different types of loans and financing options you may encounter when deciding how, exactly, to buy your home.

Home loan options

There are many types of home loans out there that cater to different financing needs. We start with the most conventional loan types (fixed- and adjustable-rate) and then move into some more unconventional options.

Fixed-rate mortgage. A fixed-rate mortgage lets you lock in your interest rate so that your monthly payment will remain the same over the life of the loan (assuming your property tax and homeowners insurance costs don't increase). If you have trouble budgeting or prefer a set payment you can anticipate every month, a fixed-rate mortgage might be your best option.

The downside? You'll probably need to pay a higher interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage than you would with an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). "If you want certainty, you're going to pay for it," says Heather McRae, a senior loan officer at Chicago Financial Services Inc. Lengths on these types of loans vary, but the two most popular are 15-year and 30-year fixed mortgages.

Adjustable-rate mortgage. An adjustable-rate mortgage offers a lower interest rate and payment than a fixed-rate mortgage, but the rate is good only for an initial period -- say, three or five years -- and can then change every year depending on market conditions. (In most cases, "change" means increase.) Since the monthly payment on an ARM has the potential to go up.

FHA loan. Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, loans, which were established during the Great Depression, enable you to qualify for a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5%. You can also get approved with a lackluster credit score (think low to mid-600s). But since the federal government insures these loans, borrowers pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). This premium on FHA loans currently costs borrowers 1.75% upfront with an ongoing monthly fee of 0.85% for a mortgage of 15 years or more with a loan-to-value ratio of more than 95.01%.

VA loan. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' loan program gives active or retired military -- or a veteran's surviving spouse -- the opportunity to purchase a home using a 0% down payment. VA-backed loans typically offer attractive interest rates, says Todd Sheinin, mortgage lender and chief operating officer at New America Financial in Gaithersburg, MD. The icing on the cake: You don't have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) on the loan. Given the perks of a VA loan, it's often your best mortgage option if you can qualify.

USDA loan. U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans are offered in areas typically defined as having populations of 10,000 or less. You can use the USDA's website to see if your location is eligible. USDA loans typically have lower interest rates than non-USDA loans since the U.S. government assures the lender that any financial loss resulting from servicing the loan will be reimbursed in full up to an amount not exceeding 90% of the original loan amount.

USDA loans also carry a mortgage insurance fee of 2% of the loan amount (collected at closing), plus a monthly mortgage insurance premium of 0.5%, which can be lower than the traditional cost of private mortgage insurance. Since borrowers can put as little as 0% down on these loans, they open up mortgage opportunities for many people who wouldn't have been able to purchase homes otherwise, says Gutierrez. Only certain mortgage companies can accept USDA mortgage applications, so check the government's list of approved lenders if you're considering this type of loan.

Conforming vs. jumbo loans

You may have heard about something called a jumbo loan and wondered what the heck it is. Your mortgage becomes a "jumbo" loan if the amount you're borrowing exceeds conventional conforming loan limits. The limit on conforming loans in "general" areas of the United States is $417,000; in high-cost areas, such as New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, CA, the limit is $625,500 for a single-unit home. Jumbo loans generally require you to make a higher down payment (anywhere from 15% to 30% down for some lenders) and have at least a 680 credit score.

What's the deal with points?

You may encounter two types of points in the home loan process: origination points and discount points. Since both can impact your mortgage's terms, it's important to understand the difference.

Origination points. These points are used to pay the mortgage lender's administrative costs for processing the loan. How many origination points you need to pay is based largely on your credit score, but the average buyer pays one point, which is 1% of the loan amount. Although discount points are tax-deductible since they cover the interest on your loan, origination points are deductible only if they were used to obtain the mortgage. In other words, if you used points to cover other closing costs, you won't be able to get a tax deduction from Uncle Sam.

Discount points. Discount points are essentially a way of prepaying the interest on your loan, since they're fees you pay the lender at settlement in exchange for a lower interest rate. One point equates to 1% of the loan amount. As the borrower, you have the option of paying these additional points to reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Discount points are also tax-deductible.

It's up to you to decide if you should purchase discount points. Your lender will require you to pay at least some amount of money for an origination fee, but you may be able to negotiate how much. With discount points, you have the option of whether or not you wish to purchase any; your decision should rest largely on how long you plan to stay in the home. You'll want to calculate your break-even point so that you can determine when you'll begin to recoup the money you paid upfront for the points. If it's longer than you plan on staying in the home, you're probably better off going without them. It's also important to consider whether your money would be better spent on a larger down payment to reduce or eliminate your monthly private mortgage insurance.

Should you consider a mortgage broker?

You have two options when choosing a lender. You can use either a bank or a mortgage broker; each option comes with advantages and disadvantages. You probably do most of your banking -- including maintaining your checking, savings, and credit card accounts -- at one financial institution. If that's the case, the main benefit to getting your mortgage from your current bank is that all your financial accounts and products will be consolidated in one place, which can make managing your money easier. But loan officers at large banks tend to work only 9 to 5, which could leave you stranded if you have pressing questions or issues on nights or weekends. Also, if your loan officer is tied to using the bank's products, you may not get the best mortgage for your specific needs.

Using a local mortgage broker can sometimes get you a lower interest rate and more favorable loan terms, since local brokers typically survey the total marketplace instead of being limited to a set suite of products. Also, because most mortgage brokers do all their work in-house (unlike many big banks), origination, processing, underwriting, and closing is usually a smoother process from start to finish -- with fewer delays and better communication. The main caveat: Some brokers are biased toward certain lenders, since they often get paid a fee from the lender for bringing in business.

Financing options down the line

Once you've decided on your loan, closed on your home, and moved into your new abode, you still may wonder about additional financing options, especially if you decide to remodel or refinance. Here are a few terms you may need to know.

HELOC. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) acts almost like a piggy-bank loan in the sense that it lets you borrow money -- typically at low interest rates -- against the value of your home for improvements, emergencies, and other expenditures.

Refi. Short for a "home mortgage refinance," a refi enables homeowners to get a lower interest rate on the amount they now owe on their home. If you're planning to stay in your home for several more years, a small reduction in your interest rate can make a big difference in your monthly payment.

Since you're not required to use your original lender when you refinance, you'll want to shop around and compare rates to make sure you're getting the best deal. However, "many lenders will offer a discount on closing costs to retain customers," says Gutierrez.

Once you've decided on a lender and secured your financing, you're ready to sign on the dotted line -- your home closing is within reach.

New Mexico Mountain Properties is here to assist you in finding that perfect piece of Angel Fire, Red River, or Taos Real Estate. NM Mountain Properties is located at the log home at the blinking light. You are sure to find something that will fulfill your Angel Fire Real Estate requirements. Give us a call here in Angel Fire at 575-377-2626, Taos is 575-758-5852 or call our agent Paula directly at 575-770-3306.

4 Ways To Ensure Your Online Lender Is Credible

Finding a mortgage online is convenient, but how can you be sure the lender is legit?

Today, most mortgage shoppers start their process online. It's so efficient that even the mortgage industry's main regulator recommends it.

But how do you ensure a lender you find online is credible? Here are the top five ways.

Define your terms Specifically, know the difference between an "online lender" and a lender you found online.

Online lenders (also known as marketplace lenders or fintech lenders) are the new startup lenders that have cropped up in the past five years. They were purported to reinvent mortgage lending with technology, but have recently learned that the mortgage process cannot be 100% digital for every loan because federal consumer protection laws and local property appraisal and settlement procedures are too complex.

Some online lenders have found themselves in trouble with regulators and investors. Others keep building, but may struggle to match long-established mortgage lenders when it comes to compliance, stability, and implementing the technology that simplifies your process.

To put online versus established lenders into perspective, it's considered great success for an online mortgage startup to fund over $1 billion in mortgage loans in a year. That might sound large until you consider that the smallest of the nation's top 40 mortgage lenders funded over $8 billion in loans last year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

Consult the top U.S. mortgage regulator As online lenders proliferate, you can use the mortgage industry's top regulator as a resource.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has kept up with this trend and created education about online lenders so you know how to plan your budget, research lenders, and watch out for risk factors.

Seek out lender recommendations Most home buyers used to start their process with a real estate agent, then later researched mortgages. But as it becomes easier to research mortgages online, buyers are starting mortgage research earlier.

It's a good idea to research local lenders who know the local nuances of appraising property and settling a mortgage transaction -- and there are always local nuances that impact the mortgage process.

If you want great advice plus the efficiencies of a digital mortgage process, it's best to start by finding a great local lender (which you can do by reading lender reviews), then interviewing them about their digital offerings.

Research lenders in the government's lender licensing database The same law that created the CFPB also created the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), which assigns license numbers to every mortgage company and individual loan officer. To maintain their licenses, companies and individuals must complete continuing education on the latest regulations each year.

The NMLS Consumer Access site enables you to quickly look up any company or individual, and it's a very valuable resource of federally vetted information on a company you might want to work with.

For companies, you can check:

Name, address, phone number, website, and email Current and prior names the lender might also use Number of loan officers Number of active and inactive branch locations Regulatory actions State licenses and registrations (so you can see where they're allowed to do business) For individuals, you can check:

Name, address, and phone number 10-year employment history Regulatory and disciplinary actions The more information you have on hand, the better prepared you'll be to choose the right lender.

If you're looking to purchase or sell a home, come to New Mexico Mountain Properties and our enormous selection of homes for sale in Angel fire as well as our Taos homes for sale. If its land you're looking for, we have the biggest selection in Angel Fire and Taos. We also have scenic condos in Angel Fire. Give us a call at 575-377-2626 in Angel Fire, 575-758-5852 in Taos, or call our agent direct at 575-770-3306.

Angel Fire Resort Happenings

Scott Enduro Cup - New Event We are expecting about 700 guests for this event. 300 competitors and then family, friends & coaching staff.

Friday: 1-4 p.m. Pre-race clinic at the Bike Park 3-7 p.m. Racer Check in at Village Haus

Saturday: 7:30-10 a.m. Racers ride from Lowe's Valley Market up to Brazos Dr to race 3 separate stages on the Greenbelts Trails back down to HWY 64 5-7:30 p.m. Live Music at the Zia Burrito Bar - Open to the Public

Sunday: Racers will start early in the morning at the Bike Park and will wrap up with results approximately 4 p.m. Angel Fire Endurance We are expecting just under 50 racers for this event.

Friday: 4 p.m. Racers packet pick-up at The Lodge (Rooms A & B) Saturday: 5-8 a.m. Races begin and take place mostly on the Greenbelt Trails

AAFPO Members Weekend

Weekend filled with events for AAFPO Members. Friday: 5-7:30 p.m. AAFPO Welcome Reception at the Country Club Saturday: 12-1:30 p.m. Taste of Angel Fire at the Community Center 2-3:30 p.m. AAFPO Annual Meeting at the Community Center

Sunday: 12-1:30 p.m. BBQ Picnic at Angel Fire Resort Base Area Deck Tell Us About Your Event

If you are hosting live music, a festival or any other event that will bring the community together, we are here to help promote it!

While you're enjoying your weekend here in Angel Fire, come by the log cabin at the blinking light and let New Mexico Mountain Properties be your first stop, for all your Taos and Angel Fire Real Estate needs. We offer condos for sale in Angel Fire and the Taos Ski Valley which will put you close to all the activities. The homes for sale in Taos and Angel Fire give you some of the best views around! We can help you find whatever Taos or Angel Fire real estate has to offer. Contact us in Angel Fire at 575-377+2626, Taos 575-758-5852, or call an agent directly at 575-770-3306.

More Entries

BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is running version 5.8.001.